No it's not a word for word adaptation of Shakespeare's original play, yes some of the acting is a bit flat and it is incredibly corny in places. That said the 1930's musical style does bring something wonderful to the performance and it is very watchable and enjoyable to non Shakespeare buffs. I agree with a previous review that the scene at the masquerade ball is a bit extreme for U performance and would have thought it would have been rated PG. However, despite its flaws I love this adaptation and having owned it on VHS I had to get the DVD version too. The DVD is even better as it has extra features including deleted scenes, bloopers, the original trailer and a featurette.